Adult Reality Check 101  

Romance coud be a 'moment' away

Dating has always held complexities that rival quantum physics for comprehension and methodology. This has gone on throughout the ages and can be true for both genders. But today’s women are making it tougher than ever.

They're more beautiful, more sophisticated, classier, and more self-confident. A guy can’t buy a loaf of bread without passing an amazing amount of attractive women throughout the store, with many potentially single.

Trying to meet someone special rarely unfolds like the movies. Making magic happen in real life can mean learning to recognise unconventional opportunities and seizing the “moments” we are presented with. Some are obvious, some go unnoticed, yet all can be important to increasing the odds of finding that someone special.

There is one circumstance in the process so simple, so understandable, and so easy to fix, that it may well be, all we need to know. It’s the time and situation when we meet someone new which can be referred to as the “The Moment”. Understanding its different implications to each gender is a big key to unlocking doors to prospect.

Men and women have always held different ideas as to where they will meet potential mates. And, because of their different ideas of what the actual “moment” will look like, there is a variance in perception of when a “moment” is actually happening.

Most men literally don’t have a moment. When we’re single, we are in the game 24/7: watching, waiting, dreaming and hoping. Getting groceries or getting our morning latte, it doesn’t matter to us; if you’re attractive we can get smitten.

Most women however do have a moment, a conditioned and preconceived idea of where and when potential romance is might happen. And it usually isn’t during day-to-day life; running errands, at work, or getting groceries, for example. These are not the times women feel at their potential best.

Women might think of the “moment” as a friend’s dinner party next week, or an up-coming dance, and will patiently wait for the appropriate time and place.

Unfortunately for many single women this can mean missed opportunities in everyday life. Many overlooked occasions that don’t conform to society’s romantic interpretation of the right place and right time.

As for men, we’re here, all around you, in some appropriate circumstances you may have overlooked. We desperately want you to see us, be aware of us outside the prescribed romantic moments in life. Most men still hold to chivalrous behaviour, and want to be the one to ask a woman out.

But if we’re shy, feel free to break the ice. If we’re attractive to you, talk to us, and if you see what you like then please feel free to just ask us out!

Most of us will be flattered and probably say yes. Because its 2012 not 1912; the game has changed, the rules are open, and now more than ever, a women can score too. 


Women have it all already!

Some don’t realize it, a lot don’t recognize it, and many don’t appreciate it.

The choices, options, and lifestyles that are available to women are not, contrary to modern trendy talk, available to men. Women can choose a path in life totally personal and unique to the circumstances they aspire to live, without the consequences and judgement men face.

The option to stay at home and home-make, to go work and pursue a profession, part-time, full time, life’s an open season of variations, prospects and personal preferences.

Men on the other hand are given a script at birth and except for a few modern re-writes we are expected to read it, play it, and live by it. We are born, bred, taught, indoctrinated, and raised to follow one path; work, marry, propagate and provide; end of story.

Women can make their world anything they want, any variation of life that works for them, and pursue it with impunity to examination or judgement. Except from their peer group, who can be ruthless, callous, and demeaning to each other when discussing life choices.

Not surprising, many women still can’t find peace within their choice, or happiness within their circumstance.

The “Mommy Wars” is nothing new - what is new, is a man brave enough to weigh in on it. Twice. “Working Women Are Personally Invested.”

Men do not enjoy the same lifestyle opportunities, yet we are forced by our gender and peer pressure to accept our fate and show acceptance of our circumstances.

We don’t hear “Go marry a doctor, find a princess to look after you” from our fathers. We are expected to be producers and providers, and nothing less is satisfactory.

It doesn’t matter what the people chat about at chic dinner parties; about a new world order with stay at home dads being fashionable and acceptable. The reality is, this is not mainstream, it’s statistically rare, and is not remotely realistic for most couples.

Even in 2012, women are still dealt a poor hand with salaries and wages, which have not reached parity with men in many occupations, making the theory of a sole female breadwinner, escapist fiction. It’s almost fact now, that to attain even middle class status, both partners need to be contributing.

Yet some women want it all, the white picket fence, huge home, getaways and stylish minivan, but elect to invoke “the mommy clause” straight out of the workforce into mommy-hood, and rely on their “man” to provide it all.

Fortunately, the most prolific change in the marital world today, is that the majority of women aren’t satisfied with mommy- hood, and are working not only in the workforce, but also serving their families, in what must be the most under-appreciated job on earth. The working mom.

Now only if society, corporations and husbands would recognize this, show due respect and compensate them fairly.

But even better, and far more constructive, would be for the career mommies’ to stop using all that spare time to blog tediously about mommy-hood , and use it constructively to support their sisters in the workforce. To affect change, growth, and understanding, for working women everywhere.

They would find out that they would be helping themselves down the road, because when the the gravy train runs out and circumstances change, they too might have to join the workforce.

Maxed out but still living large!

Maxed out, taxed out, lay-offs, a slow economy, it doesn’t matter to some families who won’t withdraw from life’s meaningless materialistic marathon.

Lotteries and windfalls have changed how society envisions life, and not necessarily for the better. Fortune and financial security used to have to be earned and worked at. In today’s society, any one of us with a dollar has a chance to have it all.

The what if? “Wouldn’t it be nice” became a normal way of thinking for many. And in some cases this affects how we live.

Many people carry a discontent with their life, a dis-satisfaction with what they own, and a sense of despondency with where they’re going. Their cars, homes and toys are no longer satisfactory; they’re not the stuff that dreams are made of.

Sadly, with easy credit available to many people, some have chosen to create their own little windfalls.

Yet for many decades our dreams, expectations and lifestyles were planned within realistic parameters.

You went to school, got a job, got married and budgeted accordingly. The life you lead, the trophies you acquired, were a result of the effort you put in. Unless you were blessed with some special talent that might take you farther; an athlete, an actor, a musician, no-one ever expected wealth overnight.

But what happens when the lottery doesn’t deliver? When the windfalls don’t come? When the material stuff, the grand MacMansion, the luxury automobiles, the boats and toys, doesn’t come quick enough?

Many take the easy road, and take chances with their future, resorting to credit or home equity loans to build a kingdom of fabricated facades.

Society has lost clear sight of what really brings happiness with a deluge of indulgent living ideals fed to us through the media. People have come to feel they just deserve and are entitled to riches, that the aspired high life can be lived today and worked for tomorrow.

And unfortunately, this fails miserably to impress anyone, but does teach our children a very troubling mentality. The new cars, the over-sized homes, they mean nothing in the era of easy credit. Today’s status symbols can be owned by anyone with credit availability.

Historically one would see the doctor, lawyer or business man owning such trophies.  Today, it can be blue collar, white collar, and even part-time worker, all living large and with little regard to their future.

And then, the egotistical spending whims of parents become behavior modeling examples for our children. Many parents demonstrate weak values and narcissistic tendencies and just can’t say no to their children’s material wants.

And like any other parental possession, the kids need to be as hip and happening as the house, cool as the car, and having only the best toys. Parents actually believe their kids can make them look prosperous, to neighbours, peers and teachers, as if their children’s appearance equates directly to healthy successful parenting.

Walking, talking, trophies, that have learned appearances and living for today is more important that earning and saving for tomorrow.

And worse, because many parents haven’t taken the time to mentor their children, and set good examples with money management, the children see a series of pitiful examples of parental monetary irresponsibility, and realize that why should they be responsible, when their own parents are so weak-minded, they can’t even say no to themselves.


Digging deeper into a civil diservice

The previous column “When the Civil Service is a Disservice” first brought attention to a situation of civic disregard a month ago. Since then, some developments and a buried document have come to light concerning the City of Vernon, NORD, and more importantly the duped taxpayers of Vernon.

In 2000, the city was considering building a multi-use facility, but due to costs, a study was commissioned and done by Community Futures in 2001, entitled “Rethink the Rink”.

This document, since suppressed from public attention, is available through NORD. To summarize, it analysed the different opportunities and functions such a building could provide. Subsequently a referendum was held to allow taxpayers a chance to decide whether construction of a multi-plex was in their best interests.

Here is an excerpt; “A ReThink the Rink Marketing Plan should reassure the rest of the community that the facility is a place where a multitude of activities can take place. It is important for people of the area to view this facility as a “community” facility, a first class venue that will not only attract a variety of events to the community but will also be used to enhance the already large number of local events”.

It became the template of service for the city, and subsequently Recreation Excellence, the contracted management provider.

Tom Watson, CEO of Recreation Excellence (RE) says, “We were hired to run the Multi-plex in a fashion similar to the Rethink the Rink document envisioned––We really enjoyed the community - Unfortunately we weren’t retained. We have no interest in returning to Vernon.”

Given the interest taxpayers have in the building, why isn’t Vernon, using highly paid city workers, delivering some semblance of service that is equal to what we had, and close to the communities expectations? Instead we are stuck with a sub-standard operation, and little or no events reflecting the diversity of the community.

Theoretically, since the study played a part in the public decision at referendum time, and taxpayers signed on to what was promised, it should still be, or at least in part, binding today.

Westbild Holdings is another partner that stepped forward with a civic minded venture, only to find they paid a very high price, to name a very empty facility.

Brad Pelletier VP Okanagan said this; “From Wesbild’s perspective we first invested in the entitlement of the Wesbild Centre for civic reasons and in the hopes that our investment increased the entertainment options for residents of Vernon. With entitlement deals like this, the value is a function of the tenants and how actively programmed the building is. It is also up to us to define a strategy behind the investment and our on-going interest will depend on many factors.”

Given the lack of committed investment by the city and NORD, it would seem prudent that when a new contract extension is due, Westbild might be asking for a little more action, and a lot less talk, before signing again.

By raising assertions of the ineffectiveness of city management, one would think the managing body (the city) would have been inspired to answer and show transparency.

The sad reality is that the North Okanagan is being dis-serviced in a manner contrary to promises made during that referendum. The more troubling reality, the one that could affect positive change, is that the city doesn’t want to talk about it, NORD wants to ignore it, and many new taxpayers aren’t aware of it.

Fortunately we have a new mayor and a reconfigured council, so let’s hope their tastes run more worldly than just hockey. 

The numbers, minus Vipers' hockey: 

  • In two years RE booked Wesbild (MultiPlex) for 147 days
  • In two years the City of Vernon booked Wesbild for 85 days

(Editor's note: Jeff Hunkin's wife used to work for Recreational Excellence, he says he wrote his column based on what he has witnessed as a user of the facility and as a taxpayer not because of his family's history with the facility)

More Adult Reality Check 101 articles

About the Author

Jeff Hunkin is a 47-year-old Community Service Worker working with autistically challenged male adults in Vernon. The son of a retired Edmonton city policeman, Hunkin was raised and educated in both BC and Alberta. Hunkin continued his studies of the Human experience for over 10 years, in 7 provinces, 3 states, 15 cities and at least a 100 postal codes.

At times he has known the privilege of materialistic wealth and at others lived in a world of harsh poverty.  He has loved and lost more than most people see in a lifetime, he has been a free, happy and unbridled spirit, yet for a period of time, imprisoned within the depths of depression, all the while studying and observing the human experience unfold before him.

Hunkin's subjects are the very topics we usually discuss in our staff rooms, coffee shops or dinner parties. For whatever reason; being fear-based, being politically correct, or just no mainstream media theatres of discussion, these subjects rarely see the ink of print. HER side, his side, their side, your side, you may not like it, but someone will. Hunkin will take it, talk about it, run with it, roll with it, and see where it takes us all.

If you want to contact Jeff Hunkin about this week's column please e-mail - [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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